212 votes
Accepted

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

In our school, we are expected to flag cases of suspected plagiarism and collusion to an internal academic offences committee. There's your answer. It's your job to report the offense.
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129 votes
Accepted

I have been accused of plagiarism for similarities between my presentation and a website that I used as a source and cited. What should I do?

I agree that this seems at most to be a borderline case on its face, and 10% is not an unusual percentage similarity for non-plagiarized work. However, there are some things counting against you: ...
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  • 67.3k
115 votes

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

You should. Dura lex sed lex. Not reporting it sends the message that plagiarism is OK if enough people do it. The grim consequences you envisage (like departmental disapproval) might not come to pass ...
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  • 103k
78 votes

Reference regarded as plagiarism

You obviously did not commit plagiarism. The phrase “flagged as plagiarism” is meaningless techno-babble that gives the appearance that you did something wrong, when you didn’t. Explain the situation ...
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  • 169k
75 votes

I've been wrongfully accused of plagiarism. What can strengthen my case?

We can’t read folks minds or predict the future, but if everything you say is true, this seems like a case where your defense would be accepted. This is just my opinion as a faculty member. I have ...
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  • 12.7k
73 votes

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

The way I see it, my employer pays me to evaluate my students’ knowledge of the material I taught them. I am ethically bound to give only grades that reflect my honest assessment. In particular, if an ...
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  • 169k
72 votes

Is summarizing a single source considered plagiarism?

Plagiarism is mis-representation of the work of another as your own work. If you credit the original work and make the relationship between your work and that work clear, it is not plagiarism. Whether ...
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  • 181k
69 votes
Accepted

My PhD advisor sent me a plagiarized draft

At a minimum, you should change advisors It seems highly implausible to me that a person would accidentally plagiarise three entire pages of another person's book. While I won't entirely rule out the ...
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  • 44.7k
69 votes

A published paper is a literal translation of my own unpublished work. What can I do?

Contact the journal, ask for it to be taken down. Most top journals in English should follow academic norms, and those norms require that everyone who has contributed intellectually to a paper be ...
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  • 9,416
58 votes

Is it plagiarism if someone attends your talk and then writes a paper about your ideas?

The whole purpose of conferences and talks is to disseminate ideas and knowledge. In some sense, if you had published on the topic and someone else picked up the ideas and used them in a different ...
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56 votes

My PhD advisor sent me a plagiarized draft

Other answers are dealing with your academic options, but I want to highlight two things that you said which jumped out at me for other reasons: The past year of the pandemic was quite hard on me, ...
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56 votes

I've been wrongfully accused of plagiarism. What can strengthen my case?

If you (or the university officials looking into the case) could secure a statement from the TA confirming your account of what happened, that will surely strengthen your case. That being said, I find ...
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  • 169k
53 votes

I spotted a paper which has six pages worth of plagiarism: should I report it to the editor of the journal?

Yes. Such a grave case of academic misconduct should have publicly visible consequences. Let the editor know; the journal should issue a retraction as the whole article can be deemed to be unreliable. ...
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  • 7,334
53 votes

Is it plagiarism if someone attends your talk and then writes a paper about your ideas?

It is plagiarism if they present your ideas as their own. If they give you credit in some way then it isn't plagiarism, even if it isn't very courteous. Plagiarism is about the proper attribution of ...
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  • 264k
49 votes

A published paper is a literal translation of my own unpublished work. What can I do?

Your former supervisor has represented your work as their own, which is the definition of plagiarism, regardless of whether this work was published before. What you should do about it is a different ...
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47 votes

Plagiarism and exclusion from a master's program?

You probably deserve to be expelled. Normally, my focus here would belong in the form of comments to improve faulty premises in the question; but in this case the OP is so entirely riddled with ...
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45 votes

Plagiarism and exclusion from a master's program?

Plagiarism is not something that randomly occurs, it is an act committed by a person. Here, this person was you. Take responsibility. Make sure to understand what plagiarism is. It is only ...
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  • 32.2k
45 votes

Is changing some words plagiarism?

Is taking someone else's writing, and changing some of the words, inherently plagiarism? The most concise, clear answer I can think of is the following: Disallowing plagiarism is about protecting ...
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  • 51.9k
42 votes
Accepted

Online checker for Plagiarism: How accurate are they?

The questions in the title and in the body of the question are different; I'll answer the question in the title, which I cite here in case of a later edit: Online checker for plagiarism: How accurate ...
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41 votes

Is paraphrasing with citation considered plagiarism?

The single citation mark at the end of the paragraph does not fully convey just how close your paraphrased text is to the original paragraph. It would make a lot of sense to assume that the reference ...
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  • 32.2k
29 votes

Reference regarded as plagiarism

Automated plagiarism checkers make a lot of mistakes. They yield both false positives (your case) and false negatives (the more important case, actually). You can't stop it, but you can talk to your ...
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  • 264k
29 votes

Is changing some words plagiarism?

Students sometimes believe or claim to believe that plagiarism is some highly technical, perplexing concept. While it is important to clarify what plagiarism is and is not to the student, in an actual ...
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28 votes

Online checker for Plagiarism: How accurate are they?

Jochen Glueck's answer provides a good description of the general problem with "plagiarism checkers." Looking at this particular one, clearly its statistical analysis (or whatever it's doing)...
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  • 1,106
27 votes

What to do when a section of a published paper has a section which contains similar results as mine?

Simultaneous discovery of research ideas is an entirely normal occurrence in academic research. It happened to me several times over my career so far, and I’m just one guy — some versions of this ...
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  • 169k
27 votes

Was I unreasonably left out of author list?

Getting input from fellow researchers is a common thing. There is nothing wrong with building on discussed ideas. This is one way how research progresses, as you have just experienced. Acknowledging ...
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  • 6,796
24 votes

I've been wrongfully accused of plagiarism. What can strengthen my case?

Seems cut and dried. You explain that the teaching assistant taught everyone an optimal way to do it, and so yours will line up with your classmates. You have photos of the whiteboard, and the ...
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  • 481
23 votes

Is it plagiarism to retell the sentences in textbook during closed book examination essay without a citation?

Under time-limited exam conditions, it is usual to expect that a candidate may recall a point without recalling its source or having the ability to look it up. If it is a closed-book exam, that is ...
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  • 44.7k
22 votes

Two-thirds of my class colluded. Should I report them to the academic offences committee?

Yes, you should report them. It's the official policy, and it's also the right thing to do. It helps you by spreading out the responsibility for the failures (or whatever). Given the academic level ...
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20 votes

Plagiarism and exclusion from a master's program?

I think you need to start with an informed second opinion. Get someone who is an academic to look at your document, the accusations against you, and your defense that the document is not plagiarism, ...
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  • 5,878

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